"Aurora III, The Spirit of Prairie Village" Sculpture by Tom Corbin By Jessie Cartwright
Aurora III, The Spirit of Prairie Village Located on the Prairie Village Municipal Center Grounds 7700 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS
A work of art translates ideas into images and symbols that can engage our visual curiosity and connection. Though our interpretations and experiences vary, certain works of art have the beauty and power to connect us all. In the garden of the Prairie Village Municipal Building, you will discover a bronze sculpture that encompasses all of the above, created by local sculptor Tom Corbin.
Aurora III, part of Corbin’s signature Aurora series of bronze cast sculptures, portrays an elongated female figure, approximately 6 feet tall, with brown and verdigris patina. She is barefoot and youthfully carefree, seemingly in motion as her arms reach upward, face raised, eyes focused on a dove at the instant of flight from her hand.
Yet, Aurora III transcends a captured moment in time to express timeless universal themes. Corbin explains, “Aurora III is a sculptural metaphor for hope, peace and the human spirit. The young girl embodies a youthful optimism while her pose, releasing a dove, is literally uplifting. In a world that often embellishes the negative, this sculpture will hopefully provide some solace in contemplating the positive side of the human race.” Originally commissioned by the Prairie Village Foundation to honor Barbara Vernon’s remarkable devotion and service of 30 years as City Administrator in 2008, Aurora III represents “The Spirit of Prairie Village.” Aurora III is locally historical and globally contemporary. While we celebrate the life of one individual, we are all a part of Aurora III’s hope for the future.
Tom Corbin knows a little about hope for the future. Since the 1980s, he has built an extensive portfolio of personal, public and corporate collections and installations as an established master of bronze sculptures and furniture. Corbin’s stylized, elongated figures, reminiscent of Giacometti, reveal his extraordinary skill in the colors of patina that alter light and shade on textured surfaces.
Several notable, local commissions include the Kansas City Firefighters Memorial, and sculptures in the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden and Foundation. Most recently, Corbin was commissioned to create a bronze monument of Harry S. Truman for the Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. Though he has achieved national and international acclaim, Tom Corbin’s studio, gallery and midwest charm remain local. You can find his compelling work at corbinbronze.com.
The Prairie Village Public Art Series of articles is being developed by the Arts Council to describe and highlight the wonderful public art in Prairie Village. Our Prairie Village Art Walk so far includes the following:
Fluid Form by Jacob Burmood (click here) 69th and Mission
Fifties Freedom in the Village by Spencer Schubert (click here) 71st and Mission
Aurora III, The Spirit of Prairie Village by Tom Corbin (article above) 77th and Mission, Municipal Building Garden
Prairie Evolution by Matthew Dehaemers (article coming soon) 82nd and Mission, Corinth Square Entrance
Your Prairie Village Arts Council is always looking for new ways to promote the art all around us through visual art, performance art and expression. Please watch here for future installments and contact us with your suggestions or recommendations.